Creative Force

Do you work internationally to strengthen democracy and human rights? Do you use media or the arts as a means to bring about change? Are you based in Sweden or do you have a Swedish project partner? Maybe Creative Force is the programme for you. Below you will find general information, useful FAQs and detailed application instructions. The next call for applications opens 20 December 2021 and closes 31 January 2022.

Open for applications until 31 January

The next call for applications, for both seed funding and collaborative projects, is open from 20 December 2021 until 31 January 2022.


What is Creative Force?

It is a funding programme for international projects. It is open to Swedish organisations and their partners in our target countries who work through media or the arts to strengthen democracy, human rights and freedom of expression. It offers two types of grant:

Seed Funding is available for carrying out a small project or a pilot. You and your international partner can apply for up to SEK 100,000 for a project which must be completed within 12 months of the project start. 

Collaborative Projects are larger projects which should involve knowledge exchange, capacity building or method development. We recommend that you apply for this type of grant to scale-up a project which has previously received seed funding. You and your international partner can apply for a grant which runs for either max. 12 months or max. 24 months (from the project start). For a 12-month grant you can apply for up to SEK 500,000. For projects exceeding 12-months you can apply for up to SEK 1 million.

Who can apply?

  • Any type of organisation which is registered in Sweden.
  • Your organisation must have been registered for at least one year (for seed funding) or two years (for collaborative projects).
  • You must write your application jointly with a partner organisation in one (or more) of the Creative Force target countries (see below).

Which countries are included?

In Africa, Asia & MENA:

  • Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia
  • Bangladesh, Cambodia, Vietnam
  • Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen

In Eastern Europe & Turkey:

  • Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldavia, Turkey and Ukraine.
    NB: we do not grant funding to projects which include financial support to public sector partners in Belarus (state, regional, municipal).


  • Projects should normally take place entirely in the target country or partly in Sweden and partly in the target country. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has radically changed our opportunities to travel and meet physically, for the moment at least.  It is important that you take this into account when designing your project.


Get some inspiration. Have a look at our project database to get an idea of the kinds of project we support.

Check whether your project is suitable for Creative Force

  • Your project uses media or the arts as a means to bring about change.
  • Your project seeks to strengthen democracy, freedom of expression and human rights in the programme countries.
  • Your project fulfills the specific Creative Force programme objectives for the country(s) you want to work with. (See FAQs 17 and 18 below.)
  • Your project targets agents of change in the partner country(s) who want to learn new skills or use new technologies to help them in their efforts to bring about change.
  • Your project involves an exchange of knowledge or best practice between partners.
  • Your project’s achievements are sustainable. They will continue to spread and have an impact after the project has finished.

How to apply


The FAQs below will answer most of your questions about the programme.

Have you already been awarded a grant? Do you have a question about your ongoing Creative Force project? Have a look at the FAQs at the bottom of the page.

If you cannot find the answer to your question, send an e-mail to creativeforce(a)

FAQ: Applying for funding from Creative Force
FAQ: The programme objectives and strategies that steer Creative Force.
FAQ: If you already have a grant from Creative Force ...

Conference Report: Lessons from 10 years of Creative Force

In May 2019 SI organised a day of workshops for previous Swedish grant recipients. Our aim was to learn from their combined wealth of experience in order to shape the programme going forward. The participants worked with great enthusiasm and generated much valuable advice. Read more about the day’s findings in this English-language summary of the report.

Data Protection

The Swedish Institute (SI) is a public agency. As such, all applications received by SI are in the public domain. When you apply to Creative Force we require you to give the name and contact details of the responsible person at the Swedish applicant organisation and at the chief international partners. We use this information to process your application. If we then grant you funding we will occasionally use this information for publicity, analysis or monitoring purposes. This information may also be shared with staff at Sweden’s diplomatic missions in relevant countries. Read our Privacy Policy.

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